tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 21, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST
continues right now. i'm wolf blitzer. we're live in jerusalem right now. we'd like to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. it's day eight of the israeli campaign to try to put a stop to rocket fire, not only is there no cease-fire between the israelis, terror returns to the streets in tel aviv as police say more than 20 people are hurt, three of them seriously, from a bomb explosion on a bus. the bus was passing by the israeli army military headquarters in tel aviv at the time. the secretary of state hillary clinton is in her second day of what's being called shuttle diplomacy. she's apparently wrapped up talk in cairo with president morsi, who this time yesterday was saying a truce, at least a cease-fire of some sorts, was
just hours, hours away. let's go to tel aviv. sara sidner is standing by. tell our viewers what happened just a few hours ago. >> reporter: around noon, tel aviv time, there was an explosion on the number 61 bus. it was very close to the military headquarters here, very close to the courts here, along a street that was eventually block off by police. at least 22 people were injured, some of those people were on the bus, some outside the bus. they suffered everything from panic attacks to a couple teenagers who have the worst of the injuries. we talked to the e.r. doctor who told us one of the teenagers may lose a limb, perhaps an arm because of the soft tissue that's been blasted away. also a lot of shrapnel wounds in the face. both may face a lifetime of disability. those are his words.
we talked to the police, more still looking for a suspect, trying to find out who was responsible. we saw the bus before testify driven away. all the windows had been blasted out. we know that here at the hospital they've been quite busy trying to make sure they can do as much as they can for these patients. the good news is no one is expected to lose their life, but certainly a lot of fear here in the streets of tel aviv. >> sara, this is the first time i think in about six years or so since 2006 there's been a major terrorist attack in the commercial heart of israel in tel aviv, and we know there are various groups praising this operation, but as far as the responsibility is concerned, what are israeli police or military officials telling telling you?
>> reporter: they are telling us this dough not yet know. we do notice from the folks dealing with these patients -- much worst scenario in the '90s when buses would blow up and cafes were brown up. the explosives used, according to the people work works with these patients, they had a much smaller explosive. what we've been hearing from the police is they do not believe this was a suicide bomber, someone who got on the bud and blues themselves up, but instead something was left on the bus or thrown into the bus that then exploded they are combing the entire country. we did see helicopters in the air for much of the day after the explosion happened, but they are trying to figure out who was -- as we go forward with
trying to figure out whether there's a truce or cease-fire respect this is not a good sign if any of those militant groups inside gaza are responsible for this, wolf. >> that's absolutely true. sara, thanks very much. as she says the israeliis are looking for somebody who apparently threw the bomb out bus. later this hour we'll speak with the chief spokesperson for the police. redsa s reza sayah joins us from -- we understand those meetings have wrapped up. what's the latest? secretary of state clinton we have word that she's still meeting with morsi and other
officials. they've been in meeting for a good two hours. that's a very lengthy meeting when it comes to diplomatic matters. that drives home the fact this issage incredibly important matter for both washington and cairo. all eyes on these two countries to see if they can hammer out a cease-fire between the palestinians and the israelis. it makes sense these two countries are getting together. of course washington with strong ties to israel, and then you have egypt. they already have their peace treaty with israel, 1979 camp david accord. they said they will not interrupte disrupt that peace treaty, but egypt has strong relations with hamas. hamas was born out of the muslim brotherhood. that's why much of the world is eager to see if the two countries can get together and get these two sides to stop fighting. diplomatic efforts are
continuing at this hour, world. and there's no word i take it, reza, whether there will be joint public statements by the egyptian president and hillary clinton? we don't have an indication one way or another yet, do we? >> reporter: the last statements we received from the president's office was that there would be a press conference. that's what we are waiting for. we anticipated in meeting to take place earlier this afternoon local time in cairo with the press conference to follow. this meeting has gone on longer than we expected. >> we'll see if they announce some sort of cease-fire or some sort of great that hillary clinton is returning to jerusalem for more talks with benjamin knittenia hue. she had an unexpected meeting with him this morning following her session with ramallah after
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we knew that when we began this effort there would be many obstacles and difficulties, and there have been but we will persist in our determination to achieve comprehensive peace in the middle east. that was the former u.s. special envoy to the middle east george mitchell. he wasn't speaking in the past several months. that was almost exactly two years ago after another flare-up between israel and hamas and another round of peace talks with the israeli prime minister netanyahu and hosni mubarak
then. >> here we are two years. >> across the region for an outcome that bolsters security for the people of israel, improves conditions for the people of gaza, and moves toward a comprehensive peace for all people of the region. egypt still playing a significant role in the peace process. peace talks not much happening now, hasn't happened in a while, when brings us to senator george mitchell joining us for a perspective. senator mitchell, thanks very much for coming in. is it credible to think that the israelis and hamas can reach some sort of truce, if you will,
that's lasting as opposed to some temporary cease-fire? >> well, i certainly think they can reach a truce. whether it will be longlasting or not is more problematic. this is a very long history going all the way back to the creation of vault. since then 12 israeli prime ministers, ten american presidents, 20 secretaries of state and the conflict continues. two years ago you'll recall that it was almost exactly four years ago that a huge outbreak comparable to what is occurring, was happened in the region, four day before president obama took office for his first term. this is a long, complicated conflict. >> we're seeing the secretary engaged in subtle diplomacy to see -- let's see if she
succeeds, but she says she wants to leave at the end of this first term. here's the question for you as a former special envoy. if you were asked by the president for some advice, would you recommend that he name another special envoy to deal with israeli/palestinian peace negotiations or live that directly in the hands of the new secretary of state? >> i think the tremendous demands worldwide and the importance of this issue, having someone dedicated to the issue makes sense. it doesn't guarantee a favorable result. there were many before me, likely to be many after me, but i do think it warrants the importance of the issue to the united states, to the issue, to the whole region, is sufficient to adjust that, in my judgment. >> yeah, i great. i think it's got to be something in a very, very high level. you did an amazing job in
northern ire listen assal of our viewers. for some sometime i've suggested the former president, billing clinton, who came close to a deal that he be named, especially now that his wife is leaving the state department. i saw john mccain, the senator liked that idea, he proposed it over the weekend. tony blair, the special envoy from the so-called quartet, he was intrigued by it when i show with them this week and i spoke with simon perez, who only had strong words for bill clinton. >> president clinton is highly railroadsed in the region, on both sides, certainly would be a credible choice. i don't think it all the to be limited to him in case he -- i don't think you want to create the president whoever the president does name is there for sort of a second choice or doesn't enjoy the confident of president obama. because that's very important
for any envoy in the region, having the confident of the president and the secretary of state. you worked hard to try to get this process going. you need someone of that stature, someone with the credibility among the israelis anded palestinians, to really get this peace process off the ground, don't you agree? >> yes, i do. i think it is important. the most important thing is that the person be seeing as having the confidence and the trust and access to the president, because both israelis and the palestinians, indeed everything with whom we dealing with around the world, want to make sure their words are being heard directly by the president and by the secretary of state. so obviously a person like president clinton would have that kind of stature and would have that kind of access. so i think he would be obviously
a very credible person to do it. all i'm subjecting is if for any reason he doesn't wish to do it or the president didn't wish to off it, that we not take the position that there's no one else able to do it. in the end it's up to the parties in the region. the presence of a american representative, while importance, in the end you can't have a peace if the parties who are doing the fighting aren't prepared for it. the real issue is creating an argument that persuades them that theirself interest lies in reaching an agreement. i think that's possibility. i made that argument to both prime minister netanyahu and president abbas unsuccessfully, they were not prepared to accept it at that time. but iably israel aceself
interest and its security will be enhanced by an agreement with the palestinians. i think the palestinians won't get a state unless and until the people of israel have a reasonable sense of security as president george w. bush put it in a speech in jerusalem before he left office, each is invested in the other's success, because neither can obtain its objective unless the other side gets the objective. the israeli people want security, they have a right to it. the palestinians want a state, they ought to be able to have a state. each of them should be invested. so far there's many obstacles and flex xwrit which you, wolf, know very well, have prevented that from occurring. >> i couldn't great more with your assessment. i know whoever president obama names as a special envoy will want to sit down with you and consult in depth on some of the
recommendations you have on how to moch this process off the grund. as you know and i think all our viewers know, states for not only the israelis and palestinians, but the entire region, dare i say the entire world, are enormous right now. senator mitchell, thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. we're standing by, watching several breaking news developments. that terrorist attack in tel aviv today, terrorists going after a bus that was bombed right in the heart of the israeli commercial center. we're also watching what's happens in gaza, right now israeli air strikes continuing even as hillary clinton is meeting with the egyptian president morsi to try to come up with some sort of deal. as all of these situations action all they talks continue, the human toll has mounted. officials say at least 142 palestinians and at least 45 israelis have been killed since
the violence began eight days ago. we'll be right back. yeah, they have it. wi-fi. settings? there's settings right there man. may i, mr.ones? please... ♪ thanks. [ daughter ] dad... meet julian jones, the third. [ male announcer ] some connections are generational; hi... [ male announcer ] others just a few minutes... look everybody, my new grandson. [ male announcer ] either way, our signal is strong and deeply rooted in the community. cute kid... looks nothing like you. [ male announcer ] the simple joy of staying in touch. [ nyquil bottle ] just reading your label. wait...you relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you?
a terrorist attack right at the -- first time in about six years there's been a bus bombing. you're just back from tel aviv. so walk us through first of all, casualties. how many? >> after the initial explosion that took place on the bus itself in the heart of tel aviv there were 24 people treated in the main hospital three of them in moderate to serious conditions treated from the shrapnel, and it's clear that it
was a terrorist attack by at least one individual. we've heightened security in general, as well as tell avive. >> you haven't arrested anyone yesterday? what do you believe happened? i know the investigation is preliminary, but i assume you have interviewed eyewitnesses. what do they suspect happened? >> we questioned a lot of people at the scene obviously i don't want to go into too much detail, but what we do know is after the
initial explosion, the bomb disposal experts examined the device. we believe the actual size itself was probably 2 to 3 kilos. this is what we're looking at at the moment, and who fled the scene immediately after that. >> who is responsible? i know there are groups taking credit or responsibility for this. what do you believe? at the moment he don't know who was behind the attack or something that was much more organized worked out by a terrorist organization the different terrorist factions trying to take responsibility. from what we know until now, there is no official statement from any organization that says we carried out the attack. the previous attack that took place in tel aviv was over six years ago. the most recent was in march 2011, where just behind me there
was a british woman killed near the central bus station. >> based on the initial forensic evidence, does it have the fingerprints or hallmarks of a specific terror organization? absolutely not. that's been looked at. the investigation department is working in full coordination with the police headquarters with the commissioners with the high-ranks officers. carries on the security assessments. in the heart of tel aviv, something that hasn't happened for a long while. >> so you say you've enhanced security we know there are a number of alerts, but not specific alerts. behind security in general both around tel aviv and other major cities, taking into consideration there's a
heightened attempt. >> one final question. at least one person was involved, but there could have been more? >> there could have been more, but we're trying to understand if someone fled the scene. all this is under investigation by the israel national police. >> mickey rosin feld chief spokesman for the israeli police, thank you very much. >> thank you. we'll take a quick break. ben wedeman is standing by. stay with us. match that price. that's her "huge savings" face. yeah. don't worry, i get it all the time. [ male announcer ] we guarantee our low prices. even our black friday prices are backed by ad match. the first and only place to go this black friday. walmart. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy.
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following the attack quoting -- you opened the gates of hell on yourselves. authorities say 142 people have died in gaza, more than 1,000 injured. in israel five people are dead, 70 are wounded. let's go to gaza right now. ben wedeman is watching what's going on. what's the latest, air vibes pounding, continuing, i take it? it's heart to tell if they're air strikes or artillery. there hasn't been much in the way of outgoing missiles, at least from our vantage point. we saw three fired actually during the day, but much less than yesterday. really the city became very quiet, very little traffic in
the street. as soon as news spread of that bus bombing in tel aviv, and within about 40 minutes of the news coming out, there was an air strike on a building not far from here, probably about 500 meters, a huge explosion that shook this building. you could feel the shockwaves from here. wolf? >> what are they saying, ben, the hamas people you are talking about in gaza about this terrorist attack on the bus in tel aviv a few hours ago? >> well, certainly wrefd heard a varied of different reactions. there's an ha has-affiliated mosque just near here. very soon after news spread in the attack in tel aviv, they came out announcing, quote/unquote lions from the west bank were behind the attack, suggesting it was the work of the military wing of
hamas. however, later al aqsa, saying they were quoting an official saying they blessed the attack, but saying it was a natural reaction to the events. even though it applauded the attack, it's clearly trying to keep a distance from it. wolf? what are you hearing about a pose cease-fire? we see that secretary of state hillary clinton is continuing her talks in cairo with the egyptian president morsi. they seems to be going on longer than earlier anticipated. are you getting any indication from your vantage point what's going on? are we any closer to a truce? >> no, there's no indications we have moved much forward.
hamas did put fourth this proposed calm, agreement for a period of calm which they passed through the egyptians to israel. right now i think they are waiting and watching to hear what secretary clinton has to say to president morsi of egypt. obviously, you know, they've got in close contact with the egyptians, with the turks, with the -- but until secretary clinton actually came onto the scene they've waiting for a much more proactive or active american role to sort of clinch a deal if a deal is in fact in the works. wolf? ivities let's hope a deal is in the works, though it's obviously very, very difficult. ben wedeman on the scene for us, as he always is. he's in gases ra right now. let's take a quick break a look at the new york stock exchange right before the
the secretary of state is continuing her talks right now with the egyptian president morsi. hillary clinton having arier met with the palestinian authority mahmoud abbas, two separate meetings with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. earl yes today i spoke about the efforts to try to chief a cease-fire with the israeli president simon shimon peres. >> will there be a cease-fire? >> this time the expectations are really a little bit over the horizon, but we are waiting and trying. the situation is very change.
both sides wouldn't like to see a ground operation. so a cease-fire is really preferred by both sides, but the continues south of the boot -- the conditions that hamas is asking israel to accept? >> yes. >> what do they want? >> they want that israel will do nothing. we should not fly over. we should not guard the border, many other conditions. the conditions of israel is basically security conditions. and their conditions are bakley political ones, and this is a contradiction. my full interview with shimon is peres will air at 4:00
p.m. eastern. i spent time with a family who went through hell when a rocket came in from gaza. the hamas rockets came toward beersheba. from the outside it didn't look too bad, but inside is another story. a mother, father and four of their children were inside the home. when the sirens went off they had less than a minute. they made it. they did -- the husband says we went to the safe room, closed the door, we heard a big boom. straight after that an electric outage. he says the young girls were in a little hysteria. we were lucky we entered the safe room. his wife said the fire was to protect the children, then when they saw the incredible damage,
they were stunned. their 9-year-old said she is was frightened when she heard the initial siren and then the large explosion. an israeli member of parliament minced no words in what he thought israel had to do. >> all my sons, four of them, they are ready to go. >> but there's a major debail on whether that's rise. >> a former air force xharchder says he hopes the naval and airpower can get it done. 11 hamas rockets entered the vicinity while we were there. some were intercepted by the antimitch sim. others got through. wrerp allowed to go inside the emergency command center. they brace for the onslaw of
calls. we've just left the command center, and apparently there are injured and maybe even worse. we'll see what's going on. >> lieutenant sharon howard is the liaison officer helping to coordinate medical care. >> if they're in -- there are many casualties, so also medical units of the army joined to take care of the injured. >> it turns out it was a woman overwhelmed by fear, very common these days. back at the command center, the sirens kept going off. to try to avoid civilian casualties, the israeli military says they're dropping leaflets warning people to evacuate their homes before the bombs fall. arwa damon visited one family with small, frightened children as they desperately searched for a safe place to take cover.
>> which is the first family we came across barreling down the road. all these knee is they dpn dare stay at home. we left without knowing where to go, cradling her 4-month-old. what has caused this max exodus is the israeli army dropping these leaflets, warning residents in certain areas they needed to depart immediately. the leaflet indicates specifically which route they should take to stay safe. >> reporter: though few believed the israelis, leaving was a better option than staying behind. he said the house was hit a few days ago. this is the second school they have gone to looking for a safe place to stay, but it obviously was full as well. now we're going with them to try out a third one. it's already packed.
people angrily move benches, staking their claim. there is another school, a young man gestures, come with me. amid a frarntic search -- fear. four years ago, a school was bombed. the israeli said hamas was using the cover of schools to fire rockets. whatever the risk, for these families there is no alternative. this just gives you an idea of how chaotic this is. this is the fourth scold that the family has been to looking for a -- come, come quickly, the rest of the family is called as the work to clear space. the children arrive talking breathlessly about seeing a ball of fire outside. we're less than a minute away from the school.
while standing in there, we felt the windows of the building shakes from an explosion. it seems this was the target. also reassures from those that flelt to stay safe. we're covering all the news throughout the middle east region, from the peace talks continuing in cairo to the ongoing rocket fire, the air strikes. we'll be back from jerusalem in just a moment. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future.
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the bus, all coming 24 hours after reports that cease-fire is imminent. still negotiations are under way with secretary of state hillary clinton in the midst of what some officials are calling shuttle diplomacy between israelis, palestinians and egyptians. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is joining us with more on this part of the story. they're sending some crill cal messages to iran, aren't they? >> absolutely, because as this firepower is tragically on display, everyone is watching to see what the other guy is up to. israel ace iron dome miisms have intercepted about 85% of hamas rockets fired at israeli civilians. it's a military success, but still short of all-out victory.
>> the terrorists may be the big winner in so far as it doesn't take one or two of these things to land in a major urban center to calls political respond, to cause panic and maybe at that point forced israel ace hands into a ground operation. >> reporter: hamas is banks on iron dome's potential weak spots. >> it does have a certainly limits to the number of missiles it can engage, so hamas will undoubtedly be trying to figure out what those weak spots are. >> reporter: ben wedeman has been seeing growing hamas sophistication. >> some is more than one stage. it's a long rocket, has to be disassembled and brought in. this has increased the range of rockets fired by hamas and the other resistance as far as jerusalem and tel aviv.
>> they're also burying them, then using -- they to hunt them down one by one. one country likely watching very carefully is iran, which is wary of israel striking at its nuclear program. iran has missiles that might be able to hit israel, but iran may be seeing cautionary signs as it looks for ways to retaliate if israel were to launch a strike. >> they might be able to -- so iran may feel more vulnerable today than a week or two ago. >> reporter: israel has multiple defenses now. iron dome batteries can strike roux launched 45 miles away. its longer-range arrow missiles can detect targets 300 miles away. it's designed to go squarely
after a ballistic missile attack from iran. a new weapon called david's sling falls right between. able to hit missiles and rockets fired from to 150 miles away like a threat coming out of hezbollah targets in lebanon. so long the supply question is out there, as long as rockets and missiles keep getting smuggled into gaza the question of when there might be some real permanent end to hostilities still remains very much, of course, wolf, an open question. wolf. >> certainly does, barbara. thanks very much for that report. once again, we're following what's going on in cairo right now. we'll update ow the secretary of state hillary clinton. she's meeting with the egyptian president mow morsi. will there be a cease-fire or not?
>> this instinct that caused me to walk right next to a building so that i knew that if something was going to fall, i would be able to take cover. what you don't see in the footage is how i ran up to the building, and i tried to open the door, but that's a children's house, and there are no children here now, so it was locked, and i couldn't get in. it's pretty scary. >> tell us about how you stay safe. >> how i stay safe. i have a safe room, and any time there's an alarm, i run for the safe room. it is within my house. we have only about ten seconds to get there, so at this period of time i'm actually sleeping there. it's not my bedroom. it's my guest room. >> adelle raymer, one of the
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and even up to 50% more than leading sonic technology brushes for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers. here's what we know right now. 24 people were rushed to a tel aviv hospital after a bomb blast on a public bus. hamas mill tans in gaza aren't claiming responsibility, but they are praising the attackers. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton is in cairo right now where she's been talking with the president of egypt, mohammed morsi. this after meeting with the president in the west bank and the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu here in jerusalem. the u.n. secretary general ban ki moon, by the way, is making these rounds as well.